Friday, November 21, 2008

The Moodists - Engine Shudder

I saw this band play once, they were support to a PIL gig
here at festival hall. Fantastic and quite a good pairing with PIl.
I have seen Dave Graney many times over the years, the last time
early this year was support for the Don't look back, Ed Kuepper
Died Pretty gig you can read about here
Dave was a bonus that night, a rare solo performance from
a living legend.

The career of the Moodists can be roughly split into two halves.
The first lasted from 1980 to ’85 featuring Turner and the
distinctive bass playing of Chris Walsh. The second with Malcolm
Ross and David McClymont from Scottish pop group Orange Juice
on board, lasted barely a year.
The nucleus was Graney and Miller who all hailed from the South
Australian country town of Mt. Gambier. In the late 70s they went
Adelaide (where they hooked up with Clare Moore) before moving to
Melbourne in 1981. Here bass player Chris Walsh and guitarist
Mick Turner were added and they put out two singles and the mini-LP
Engine Shudder on Au-Go-Go before relocating to London on signing
with Red Flame.
The Moodists early songs like Where the Trees Walk Downhill,
Gone Dead and the Thirsty’s Calling LP are hard, raw, and driving.
Paradox rock – musically ambitious yet consciously crude.
Literate songs interpreted inarticulate. Brooding, insular and
petulant.The Moodists didn’t appeal to a particular audience
like the Birthday Party, Hunters n Collectors or even the Scientists.
To be a Moodists fan was an individual thing. An admiration you
didn’t blurt out. Detractors at the time saw the Moodists as poor
cousins to the Birthday Party.Graney playing Sancho Panza to the
quixotic Nick Cave. However,hindsight shows the Moodists
hold up better. Less affected and less connected to the time.
"That’s a pretty generous view," Graney says.
I really think the Birthday Party were much more coherent,
confident and connected. We ran on a different kind of energy,
sullen, unspoken, interior, inarticulate. Occasionally we hit on things
that really rocked. Like the Birthday Party, we were always
experimenting with song structures. We were relentlessly modern in
attitude."On the records Thirsty’s Calling and Double Life all the
songs are two or three chords. There are no key changes,
no choruses, and no solos.It was all performance and energy.
The later period was a move into more classic songwriting and
arranging. In some ways the early stuff was more "modern"
in that we were always looking for ways to express things,
in some ways its really old school, like a blues aesthetic."

01. Gone Dead

02. Kept Spectre

03. Chad's Car

04. Woken Strength
05. This Road Is Holy

06. Chatter Shapes
07. The Disciples Know

Download Here


Anonymous said...

Great, I have found out about them a year ago. When I saw the cover of a LP Thirstys Calling, I thought, well this just looks like a nick cave record. When I listened to it in the shop, after a year of listening to older favourites like birthday party, bad seeds, jesus lizard and such, I was delighted to find out there was another band from australia that gave me a similar feeling of wilderness...
I bought it and another one from esprit, it was the above mentioned EP.
It was right about the time that Mick Harvey visited my small country of Croatia, and dirty tree a week later.
Well that was just the sign that the moodist are alive!
Belive me or not, a 2 weeks ago I had luck and found out Just South of Heaven of Crime and the city solution. Also the first time to actually listen carefully to that band.
When I was a teenager, Birthday Party and cave + bad seeds were among my favorites, just cant blive that I did not found the time to listen to the crime and the city..
well, lucky for me, now I have something to do, found out just what i missed as a teenager.
thanks for reminding me.
hands up who wants to die!
edvin salihovic

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

That was great edvin, I think you might find some more music around here you will enjoy

Anonymous said...

thanks Bob, I will keep an eye!

icastico said...

New to me...I am excited to hear this.